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2015 Presidential Awards Celebrate Excellence in Faculty

On May 20th, President Jennifer J. Raab presented 12 members of the Hunter faculty with the 2015 Presidential Awards for Excellence. Held every spring, the ceremony celebrates the remarkable work of Hunter’s distinguished faculty, highlighting the singular achievements taking place within our academic community.

Professor David Foster of the Department of Biological Sciences was recognized for Scholarship or Creative Activity, honoring his remarkable research findings and their important contribution to the fight to cure cancer. This year, Professor Foster received international attention for his research on the cancer-fighting potential of a compound within extra-virgin olive oil. Professor Emily Braun, of the Department of Art and Art History, received the evening’s other Award for Scholarship or Creative Activity. An art historian, Professor Braun was recognized for her rigorous interdisciplinary research and her active curation, including of the extraordinary exhibition Cubism: The Leonard Lauder Collection at the Metropolitan Museum last year.

Professor Elizabeth Boujour, Classical and Oriental Studies, received the Award for Distinguished Academic Service, acknowledging her 47 years of distinguished service as a Hunter scholar, administrator, teacher and treasured colleague. Professor Boujour has served as the acting head of the Senate, acting provost, the program chair of the Thomas Hunter Honors Program, and acting director of the Hunter Office of Prestigious Scholarships – but above all, she was recognized for being a truly great teacher.

Professor Tom McIntyre of the Department of Special Education was also honored for Teaching with Technology, which noted his role as one the faculty’s earliest adopters of online and hybrid classes. A Hunter faculty member for 25 years, Professor McIntyre has authored hundreds of articles and four books, and his behavior-management website is the most visited such resource on the internet.

Professor Irene Chung of the School of Social Work was recognized for excellence in Applied Scholarship, crediting her community leadership, as well as her extensive research, writing and outreach in the field of mental health and suicide prevention, particularly focusing on issues facing Asians and Asian Americans.

Professor Jane Seley of the School of Nursing received the Cecile Insdorf Award for Excellence in Teaching for Part-Time Faculty. An adjunct faculty member since 1993 and a 2009 Hunter Hall of Fame honoree, Professor Seley was honored for her outstanding professional accomplishments, particularly in the field of diabetes prevention, and her invaluable mentorship to nursing students.

Professor Mark Spicer of the Department of Music was honored for Excellence in Teaching, recognizing his international reputation as one of the world’s leading scholars of the reception, history and analysis of pop and rock music, and the wild popularity of his superb courses at Hunter.
Professor Michelle MacRoy-Higgins, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mentoring. Since she began mentoring in 2009, Professor MacRoy-Higgins has worked and maintained close ties with Hunter College High School students, MS students, and PhD students, many of whom have gone on to present and publish their research on national and international platforms.

Professor Sheila Chase of the Department of Psychology received the Award for Service and Hunter Citizenship. Since arriving at Hunter in 1970, she has served in copious ways: as director of the General MA Program, Sigma Xi officer, Experimental Psychology coordinator, representative to the Faculty Delegate Assembly, program head for the Doctoral Program in Biopsychology, and undergraduate advisor. An animal lover and conservation advocate, Professor Chase has a passion for animal welfare equal to her commitment to Hunter and her students. 

In further celebration, President Raab, this year's winners and the rest of those in attendance raised their glasses in honor of Dr. Christa Acampora. Professor Acampora, who received last year’s Written Award for Teaching with Technology in recognition of her innovative and inspirational teaching methods, was saluted for her three years of exemplary service as Chair of the Hunter College Senate.

Congratulations to all the recipients of the 2015 Presidential Awards! Hunter is proud to celebrate you and your accomplishments, and lucky to be home to such outstanding faculty.

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